The Golden Eagles conclude the season with a 6-40 (2-22 NSIC) mark.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston softball team put up a fight Sun., April 29 but ultimately fell just short in a pair of losses to Southwest Minnesota State University.

    The Golden Eagles staged a comeback in the seventh inning of the first game as they scored three runs. Minnesota Crookston left bases loaded as the go-ahead run was retired at the plate with the Mustangs taking the 9-6 victory.

    In game two, Minnesota Crookston went to nine innings with the Mustangs as the two teams were knotted up 2-2 at the end of regulation. Southwest Minnesota State scored the go-ahead run as Erin Grote scored on a Kali Tomlinson sacrifice fly.

    The Golden Eagles conclude the season with a 6-40 (2-22 NSIC) mark. Southwest Minnesota State made the NSIC tournament with a 15-24 (10-14 NSIC) record as they finished 10th in the conference standings.

Game One

    UMC came back from a six-run deficit in the first game as they tallied three runs in the bottom of the seventh aided by a pair of errors by the Mustangs. The Golden Eagles ultimately fell short 9-6 in the loss.

    The Golden Eagles scored six runs on 12 hits on the game. Minnesota Crookston’s seniors played some great softball in their second-to-last game in the Maroon and Gold. Gabriel Antolak (Sr., C, Zimmerman, Minn.) put up a strong hitting performance as she went 3-of-3 with two runs scored. Khailyn Neumayer (Sr., OF, Morgan Hill, Calif.) went 2-of-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Maycee Trujillo (Jr., 3B, Sioux Falls, S.D.) went 2-of-3 with an RBI, while Victoria Bayliss (Sr., OF, West Bloomfield, Mich.) went 2-of-4 with a run scored.

    Luisa Silvain (Jr., RHP, Tucson, Ariz.) went 2.2 innings and allowed six runs on six hits in the circle. Mikayla Jones (Jr., RHP, Huxley, Iowa) allowed the Golden Eagles to be in position for the comeback with a strong outing. Jones gave up just one run on five hits in 4.1 innings with two strikeouts and two walks.

    The Mustangs got on the board with two runs on four hits. A Bailey Johnson triple drove in Abbie Decker to move the lead to 1-0 for SMSU. Johnson scored on a wild pitch to move the lead to 2-0 for Southwest Minnesota State.

    The Mustangs moved the lead to 6-0 in the top of the third when Alex Reak hit a three-run home run to plate herself, Madison Krog and Mackenzie Clouse.

    UMC made up ground in the bottom of the fourth with three runs. Antolak came into score on an error that allowed Samantha Proctor (So., C/1B, Champlin, Minn.) to reach. Neumayer came around to score on a Trujillo singled up the middle that cut the lead to 6-2. Proctor came around to score on a Jenna Boardman (Sr., 2B/SS, Genoa, Wis.) ground out.

    SMSU moved their lead to 8-0 in the top of the fifth and  extended their advantage to 9-0 with a Tomlinson solo shot in the top of the sixth.

    Minnesota Crookston staged a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Mikaela Rodriguez (So., 2B/SS, Laveen, Ariz.) singled to the pitcher to score Bayliss. An error at second base brought in Sam Rarick (Jr., IF, East Grand Forks, Minn.) to score. An error in center field scored Antolak to cut the lead to 9-6.

Game Two

    The Golden Eagles and Mustangs went head-to-head in a pitcher’s duel that went into nine innings. The Mustangs came away with a 3-2 win.

    Kassidy Klaphake (Sr., RHP, Cold Spring, Minn.) pitched well in her final start of her career. Klaphake gave up just two runs on six hits in six innings with three strikeouts. Paige Pitlick (So., RHP, Jordan, Minn.) also had a strong appearance with no runs on no hits in three innings of work with two strikeouts.

    UMC scored two runs on six hits. Antolak went 1-of-4 in her final game for the Golden Eagles. Neumayer was 1-of-4 with one run scored in her final game. Rarick finished 1-of-2. Rodriguez was 1-of-4. Proctor was 1-of-4, while Trujillo was 1-of-4 with an RBI.

    UMC took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Bayliss scored on a wild pitch.

    The Golden Eagles extended the advantage to 2-0 when Trujillo singled to right field to plate Neumayer.

    Southwest Minnesota State knotted the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Tomlinson drove in Johnson with a single to right field. The game was tied when Hentges singled to left field to bring in Tomlinson.

    SMSU finally came through for a run in the top of the ninth as Grote scored on a sacrifice fly by Tomlinson.

    The game was the finale of the 2018 season and the final game for six seniors. Antolak set the career marks for games played, starts, doubles and walks. Bayliss notched the records for runs and was second all-time in games played behind Antolak. The Golden Eagle seniors who played their last games this weekend were: Antolak, Boardman, Bayliss, Klaphake, Neumayer and Heather Cunningham.